Bebe to roll out Qubit customer experience platform
Brisbane, Calif. – Bebe Stores Inc. plans to roll out the digital experience management platform from Qubit. Qubit’s technology helps marketers gain a deeper understanding of customer data to optimize the customer experience based on insights and intelligence.
Qubit recently launched its next-generation suite of digital intelligence applications, built on top of a sophisticated data model to deliver omni-channel personalization with pinpoint accuracy and immediacy. The platform also allows users to instantaneously measure the incremental uplift in revenue.
Quest Nutrition introduces protein chips
Protein is the hot nutritional trend these days and Quest Nutrition has found a way to create a first-of-its-kind baked chip with 21 grams of protein per serving.
The company bills its new Quest Protein Chips as the world’s first high-protein snack potato chip and contends the product offers a revolutionary potato chip experience. The chips are actually good for people, according to the company, as opposed to simply being less bad than other snacks high in fat and salt.
The chips took two years to develop and launched online in late July with retail distribution expected later this summer. Three flavors are available including sea salt, barbecue and cheddar and sour cream.
“At Quest Nutrition our goal is to revolutionize food by making healthy versions of traditionally unhealthy foods that people love to eat. We’re excited to introduce a product that delivers all the fun of potato chips with the health benefits of a high-quality protein meal,” said Quest co-founder and president Tom Bilyeu. “With the rollout of Quest Protein Chips, we hope to show our community of users that we are working tirelessly to give them the products they’ve always wished existed.”
In addition to 21 grams of protein derived from whey and milk, each bag contains five grams of carbohydrates and 1.5 grams of fat.
Quest Nutrition currently enjoys distribution of its other products in retailers such as GNC, Vitamin Shoppe and Whole Foods Markets.
Aaron’s eyes e-commerce as big sales driver
A heightened emphasis on e-commerce, store closures and operational efficiencies are among the strategic initiatives underway at Aaron’s where the operator of 2,100 stores is looking to restore growth of furniture, electronics, appliances and accessories.
The company posted disappointing second quarter results which prompted CEO Ronald Allen to elaborate on several strategies the company had highlighted earlier this year.
"We have been aggressively developing our online strategy and are extremely pleased with an e-commerce pilot program we developed and deployed over the last two months," Allen said. "We will continue to build on these key learnings as we work towards the rollout of our e-commerce platform in early 2015. This demonstrates our strategic initiative to reach out to customers in an ever evolving marketplace."
Online initiatives are expected to have a minimal impact on sales this year, but longer term the company said it expects online will be a substantial revenue driver.
Other moves highlighted included the closure of 44 stores in the third quarter of this year and a vague reference to further store rationalization as warranted. In addition to expense savings from the closures, the company said it would pare $10 million from its operating expenses by restructuring operations and making undisclosed job cuts. It also expects to save money through enhancements to its inventory management system.
The strategic moves were announced in conjunction with disappointing second quarter financial results. Although sales increased 22% to $672 million in the quarter ended June 30, the gain was driven entirely by an acquisition of the Progressive Finance company as same store sales declined 3%. Profits fell sharply to $8.5 million, or 12 cents, compared to $25.9 million, or 34 cents a share the prior year.
"Our acquisition of Progressive Finance opens new and fast-growing channels to our customers that we previously could not access. The combination with Progressive positions Aaron’s to maintain its leadership position in the lease purchase market and drive shareholder value,” Allen said. “We believe there are tremendous synergy opportunities with Progressive, and initiatives to capture these synergies are underway. While we are excited about our future prospects, we are not pleased with the performance of our core business.”